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Sustainable development impact of trade and investment liberalization in Asia and the Pacific

Trade and investment can be effective means of implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda. However, stand-alone trade and investment liberalization policies aimed at enhancing economic development may have negative side-effects on non-economic facets of sustainable development. As such, they are best to be accompanied by trade facilitation measures, as well as environmental, social and other complementary policies.


Trade and trade facilitation along the Belt and Road Initiative corridors

The Belt Road Initiative (BRI) suggested by China’s President Xi Jinping provides an ambitious vision encouraging a new level of cooperation among countries along several economic corridors spanning most of the Asian economies member of ESCAP. This paper reviews the trade and trade facilitation situation of economies along each of the corridors and analyzes the potential impact on trade from improvements in hard (physical connectivity via good quality transportation networks) and soft (efficient trade facilitation via an effective border administration and use of ICT) infrastructures.


On the economic impact of FDI and trade liberalization in the Asia-Pacific region: A structural quantitative analysis

The authors employ the structural model of trade and investment from Anderson, Larch and Yotov (2017) in order to quantify the impact of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and trade liberalization on exports and real GDP per capita in the Asia-Pacific region. Using a dataset of 89 countries for 2011, which covers more than 97 percent of the trade and investment activity in the ESCAP member countries form the Asia-Pacific region, the authors find that FDI has had a strong but heterogeneous impact on the economic performance of the countries in this region.


International trade law perspectives on paperless trade and inclusive digital trade

Cross-border paperless trade is increasingly important to generate economic gains in a digitalised economy. Several developing and least developed countries will need to modernise their domestic laws and regulations to facilitate cross-border electronic transmissions, particularly to promote cloud computing and electronic payments.


Myanmar’s engagement in regional integration: Status and way forward

Recent restoration of democracy in Myanmar is one of the most important developments in the country’s history and potentially of large significance for the region.Owing to its strategic position, Myanmar connects Asia’s three big markets—Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), China, and India. Since 2011, Myanmar has embarked on a path of political and economic reforms, paving the way for unlocking the country’s large potential.


Join hands or walk alone? Evidence on lobbying for trade policy in India

Using primary evidence for 146 Indian manufacturing firms, I examine the types of lobbying strategies(lobbying defined as attempts to communicate information to political actors) for trade policy influence and what drives firm choice for these strategies. Firm scan lobby collectively in a group (Join Hands), lobby individually as a single firm (WalkAlone), or adopt a ‘DualStrategy’ that is a unique combination of collective and individual lobbying.



Policy landscape of trade in environmental goods and services

This paper analyses the trends in trade flows and trade policies in environmental goods (EGs) and related serv ices, with a focus on the Asia - Pacific Economies. The paper finds that the region is a dominant player in both exports and imports of EGs in the world, contributing to 42% and 44%, respectively. Renewable energy related goods dominate both the export and import basket of EGs in the region.


Regional trade agreements and cross-border trade costs: The case of Pacific Island Countries

Trade costs matter, in particular for small island developing countries, such as Pacific island Countries (PICs), given their economic size and remoteness from the world markets. This paper examines whether PICs’ performance in cross-border trade costs is informed by the extent of their participation in regional trade agreements (RTAs). The paper begins by analyzing PICs’ membership in five RTAs, focusing on trade facilitation-related provisions committed through those agreements, which have the potential to reduce cross-border trade costs.


Do trade facilitation provisions in regional trade agreements matter? Impact on trade costs and multilateral spillovers

The scope and depth of bilateral and regional preferential trade agreements (RTAs) negotiated over the past 15 years has expanded beyond traditional market access and preferential tariffs to include provisions on a wide range of issues, including trade facilitation. This study is a first attempt to measure the extent to which RTA provisions related to those featured in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) contribute to reducing trade costs. Inclusion of such provisions in RTAs does not appear to systematically result in their implementation.